Winter 2009

Articles from the Winter 2009 Issue

Sandwell on show

Diana McQueen & Jane Oates

Involvement as exhibitors rather than visitors at the Education Show 2009

Jane Oates and Diana McQueen explain how their department was looking for creative ways to engage with other professionals. Having visited the Education Show at the NEC in Birmingham in the past, and with the Bercow Review drawing more attention than ever before to speech, language and communication needs, they decided to take the plunge as trade exhibitors at the 2009 show.

Targeting training

Liz Elks & Henrietta McLachlan

Top tips for learners and trainers from the duo behind the Elklan brand

Part of the speech and language therapy role is equipping the wider workforce in health and education, as well as parents and carers, to support children with speech, language and communication needs effectively. Liz Elks and Henrietta McLachlan trace the evolution of the Elklan training brand from a commission by Cornwall Local Education Authority in 1999 to write a course for teaching assistants to the variety of packages, resources and tutor support mechanisms it now encompasses. They discuss how the effectiveness of Elklan has been evaluated and the reasons behind its success. Top tips are included from learners to learners, from learners to trainers, and from trainers to trainers. 

Here’s one I made earlier

Alison Roberts with ‘The name game’ and ‘Sound effects’, two low cost, flexible and fun therapy suggestions for groups.

A primary provision under occupation

Leona Cook with Jeannette Head, Harriet Easter & Stefanie Roberts

A role emerging placement for occupational therapy students in a primary speech and language provision

Role emerging placements occur at a site where a profession has no established presence. They are well documented in occupational therapy literature, and offer the chance for service enhancement as well as raising awareness of what that profession can do. Speech and language therapist Leona Cook was aware that children in her primary speech and language provision would benefit from occupational therapy but none was available. She went on a course to enable her to supervise the two students, and discusses the benefits and challenges the experience brought. The two students and their tutor also reflect on the experience from their perspectives. Tips for speech and language therapists who are thinking of supervising occupational therapy students are included.

A drop of golden sun

Jo Middlemiss

Our life coach recommends ‘head-fake’ and kindness to help us cope with pressure

A survey sent out to a sample of readers included an open question about which concerns they would most like life coach Jo Middlemiss to address. How to cope with pressure was a common theme. Jo suggests strategies of ‘head-fake’, where the life lesson is learned while you think you are doing something else, and of looking for opportunities to release the feel-good hormone oxytocin through showing gratitude, kindness and appreciation. 

Walking with Dobermanns (part 2)

Sam Simpson, Emma Gale & Ashleigh Denman

The impact of Dr Mark Ylvisaker’s ideas: group and individual project work in rehabilitation and community settings

This is the second of two articles inspired by the work of the late Mark Ylvisaker. The first focused on the general approach and how Sam Simpson put his ideas on identity reconstruction into practice with a client, PJ. This one details the ten aspects that define an Ylvisaker project. Emma Gale then demonstrates project work in practice with a group of adults with brain injury whose ages, needs and backgrounds are very different. They combine their talents in a way that raises money for charity, gives them a sense of achievement and greater awareness of their own strengths and support needs. Ashleigh Denman discusses individual project work carried out by an 18 year old client using a Goal-Obstacles-Plan-Do-Review format. A handout provided by Mark Ylvisaker to accompany the two articles is available here.

Coffee Break Quiz

Julie Leavett

Do you have what it takes to be a paediatric speech and language therapist? 

Whether you’re thinking of a career in speech and language therapy or are already qualified, complete Julie Leavett’s light hearted questionnaire to discover your positive qualities. 

This House Believes in autism diets

Rachel Harkawik & Paula Leslie

Evidence based debate: do gluten and casein elimination diets for children with autism impact on speech and language therapy?

This is the fourth in our series of articles set out like a debate, with the Proposition required to prove its case and the Opposition aiming to show why the Proposition is wrong. The Proposition case is that gluten and casein free diets have positive effects on some children with autism in terms of attention, sleep, hyperactivity and anxiety, and may decrease resistance to communication, thus making them more able to benefit from therapy. The opposition points to the potential negative effects of such diets and the poor quality of the studies cited by the proposition. Based on the available evidence the authors conclude that, while some individual children under appropriate professional supervision may benefit,  restricted diets are not something speech and language therapists can support.   

How I create creativity (1): Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Keith Park

An exciting approach to language and communication creates the conditions for ongoing learning and development

Keith Park is well-known as an advisory teacher and the person behind interactive storytelling, an approach which crosses disciplines of teaching, speech and language therapy and drama. His workshops for children with severe and profound learning disabilities are increasingly emphasising performances in community settings. In this article Keith unpicks the way that his role constantly evolves, influenced by chance remarks, opportunities and contacts. For him, the most rewarding aspect is when the young people he works with take an idea and run with it in unanticipated ways, as demonstrated by one pupil, PJ.

How I create creativity (2): Defining who I am

Lesley Johnson

A collaborative approach to developing narrative in people with learning disabilities 

Inspired by Nicola Grove’s Open Storytellers and with funding from Northern Star Community Arts, Lesley Johnson tracks a pilot project aimed at equipping people with learning difficulties with the skills and confidence to tell personal anecdotes. As well as providing detail about the structure and content of the 15 week group, Lesley reinforces the value of ensuring people with learning disabilities have experiences worth talking about and the opportunity to participate in activities in the community. 

In Brief – time management and mindfulness

Non Thwaite / Gwenan Roberts

What, with the benefit of experience, two speech and language therapists wish they had known before

Non Thwaite shares the methods she has found help her to manage her time. Gwenan Roberts now copes with change better following training in Mindfulness.